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Syntax search for infinitive with nom case?


Rod Decker
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How would I go about designing a search to identify any infinitives that are used with a *nominative* predicate noun? See my blog post at http://ntresources.com/blog/?p=1076 for examples of what I'm working on, and the references in Smyth's grammar in the comments. I've identified a number of such instances with linking verbs, but Smyth gives exs of non-linking verbs from classical Greek. I'm trying to whittle down the list of possible candidates in the NT (and LXX). I *think* the Syntax options should enable this, but don't know how to get started. Thanks.

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Rod,

 

I took a stab at it, but you'll need to tell me if it's getting false hits or missing some that should be found. I created a Greek construct and dragged the Clause item into the first column. In the first column of the clause I dragged a VERB item and chose infinitive. In the second column I dragged the ANY item and typed "nominative." Next I dragged a subject item underneath the ANY item in the second column. I also checked Search both directions.

 

This found three hits, including two in John which appear legitimate and one in Luke which I'm not sure about, since the infinitive is preceded by a finite verb.

 

Hope this helps.

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How would I go about designing a search to identify any infinitives that are used with a *nominative* predicate noun? See my blog post at http://ntresources.com/blog/?p=1076 for examples of what I'm working on, and the references in Smyth's grammar in the comments. I've identified a number of such instances with linking verbs, but Smyth gives exs of non-linking verbs from classical Greek. I'm trying to whittle down the list of possible candidates in the NT (and LXX). I *think* the Syntax options should enable this, but don't know how to get started. Thanks.

 

Great question. Interesting topic. Forcing me to work with my rusty Greek (ouch, but in a good way).

 

Here's the searches I came up with. You Greek folks will have to tell me if all the results are what you're looking for -- and if anyone wants to get into specific discussion of examples, I'll bow out and we'll have to bring Marco Fabbri into the discussion!

 

The first two searches use /eimi/ and /ginomai/. The third searches exclude these verbs with an accusative subject. A fourth search, with a nominative subject and any infinitive (excl. /eimi/ and /ginomai/ is not pictured -- the result was a single verse and it was not an accurate hit due to some of the final bits of searching kinks we're still working out (have pity on the programmers -- getting the searching right is seriously complex).

 

post-29948-090096300 1292205314_thumb.png

post-29948-061532300 1292205324_thumb.png

post-29948-046930300 1292205335_thumb.png

 

Note -- the hit ## reflect the fact that I have some pre-release GNT texts in my syntax module. They have not been finalized and these hit ## may change.

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Great question. Interesting topic. Forcing me to work with my rusty Greek (ouch, but in a good way).

 

Here's the searches I came up with. You Greek folks will have to tell me if all the results are what you're looking for -- and if anyone wants to get into specific discussion of examples, I'll bow out and we'll have to bring Marco Fabbri into the discussion!

 

The first two searches use /eimi/ and /ginomai/. The third searches exclude these verbs with an accusative subject. A fourth search, with a nominative subject and any infinitive (excl. /eimi/ and /ginomai/ is not pictured -- the result was a single verse and it was not an accurate hit due to some of the final bits of searching kinks we're still working out (have pity on the programmers -- getting the searching right is seriously complex).

 

post-29948-090096300 1292205314_thumb.png

post-29948-061532300 1292205324_thumb.png

post-29948-046930300 1292205335_thumb.png

 

Note -- the hit ## reflect the fact that I have some pre-release GNT texts in my syntax module. They have not been finalized and these hit ## may change.

 

Shoot -- David's reply made me realize I forgot to choose the "search both directions" box! The results will number more in that case.

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Thanks. This is helpful in figuring out how to construct these new sorts of searches. A couple of comments, however. First, I've attached the search I came up with by trial and error (and trying to puzzle out the error messages I got along the way! :)). I've apparently stacked more layers into the construct than I need to, so perhaps you could explain the logic of what I'm doing (wrong?) and how I ought to conceive this sort of search. I.e., help me (and others) understand the principles involved would be very helpful.

 

Second, The searches you posted request an *accusative* subject. And yes, that is the usual case for the subject of an infinite, but there are other options, and that's what I want--*nominative* nouns used with an infinitive.

 

Third, if I'm reading the results correctly in the screen posts that you included, I either don't understand the tagging, or it's searching for something other than what I want since the forms are identified as the *subject*--but I want *predicate* forms that are nominative. I.e., the equivalent of a predicate nominative with a finite form, but where an infinitive is used instead.

 

If you look at the exs in the screen shot I'm including, you'll see the sort of hits I'm looking for. If you want more examples, my blog post I linked in my initial query shows exs with εἰμι and γινομαι. Any search which finds them would, I think, be constructed correctly. Once I figure that out, then it's easy enough to exclude those forms to search for others. Most of the exs. on my blog, however, are not in Luke-John. (Not sure how many other books you can search.)

post-14490-009349600 1292206456_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Dave. Of the 3 hits that your search gets, I think the 3d is legit, though I'd not tag it the way it is.

 

John 9:27, μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς θέλετε αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ γενέσθαι;

 

I'd call μαθηται the pred nom of γενεσθαι. I'm not sure why it's tagged as a subject; it can't be the subject of the finite form and if it's the "subj" of the inf., it leaves an incomplete statement (you to be...).

 

(In the first 2, Luke 5:21; John 1:46, the nom is the subject of the finite form, not related directly to the inf.)

 

But if I change your subject tag to predicate, the 2 hits, Luke 2:44; John 8:58, are invalid since the noms are not related to the inf.--that's what I'm trying to avoid by a syntax search. How does the syntax tagging enable me to identify only related forms?

 

Rod

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Thanks. This is helpful in figuring out how to construct these new sorts of searches. A couple of comments, however. First, I've attached the search I came up with by trial and error (and trying to puzzle out the error messages I got along the way! :)). I've apparently stacked more layers into the construct than I need to, so perhaps you could explain the logic of what I'm doing (wrong?) and how I ought to conceive this sort of search. I.e., help me (and others) understand the principles involved would be very helpful.

 

Second, The searches you posted request an *accusative* subject. And yes, that is the usual case for the subject of an infinite, but there are other options, and that's what I want--*nominative* nouns used with an infinitive.

 

Third, if I'm reading the results correctly in the screen posts that you included, I either don't understand the tagging, or it's searching for something other than what I want since the forms are identified as the *subject*--but I want *predicate* forms that are nominative. I.e., the equivalent of a predicate nominative with a finite form, but where an infinitive is used instead.

 

If you look at the exs in the screen shot I'm including, you'll see the sort of hits I'm looking for. If you want more examples, my blog post I linked in my initial query shows exs with εἰμι and γινομαι. Any search which finds them would, I think, be constructed correctly. Once I figure that out, then it's easy enough to exclude those forms to search for others. Most of the exs. on my blog, however, are not in Luke-John. (Not sure how many other books you can search.)

 

Once again, I have mis-read a Greek request! It's the case thing that keeps throwing me off. :)

 

Let me answer in backwards order.

 

First, the three shots included in my first reply include 2 accusative and 1 nominative, just be sure that we're seeing the same screenshots.

 

Second, the searches I attached are indeed for subjects, because I thought that is what your blog posted indicated:

 

"In any event, with linking verbs, infinitives can have either nom or acc subjects and objects.

 

When a linking verb is used in the infinitive form, e.g. εἶναι, it can have a predicate nominative. This is the only time you’ll see a nominative with an infinitive since the subject of the infinitive (when it is expressed) is normally in the accusative case.

...

[examples you provided]

...

It is also possible, however, for linking verbs to follow the usual infinitive pattern and take an accusative subject or a predicate accusative as the following examples show."

 

So, I went looking for infinitival subjects.

 

But, if you want the complements (= "predicate nominative" of a copular verb), then you've done it correctly.

 

Finally -- to come around to the general searching question about how to build these searches:

the only difference between what you did and what I'd do (besides specifying lexically the copula verbs /eimi/ and /ginomai/, per you original search) is that I'd leave out the top clause layer. It's a-ok to have it in, but it's also not necessary.

 

You're searching for items *within* a predicate phrase and so that is the highest layer necessary. If you were searching for something that dealt with both subject and predicate, you'd need the clause layer. Or if you were searching for some feature at the head of a subordinate/dependent clause, you'd use the clause layer. But if you're searching within a phrase (whether subject, predicate, complement, or adjunct), the relevant phrase is the highest level you need.

 

I hope this helps (and clarifies what I was doing).

Edited by Robert Holmstedt
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Thanks Dave. Of the 3 hits that your search gets, I think the 3d is legit, though I'd not tag it the way it is.

 

John 9:27, μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς θέλετε αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ γενέσθαι;

 

I'd call μαθηται the pred nom of γενεσθαι. I'm not sure why it's tagged as a subject; it can't be the subject of the finite form and if it's the "subj" of the inf., it leaves an incomplete statement (you to be...).

 

(In the first 2, Luke 5:21; John 1:46, the nom is the subject of the finite form, not related directly to the inf.)

 

These are my mistakes, that I have now corrected. Thank you for informing me. Please send directly to me any more plain mistakes that you may find, so that I can correct them with no delay and send to you an updated module. I am so busy with my revision that I rarely go the forums, and I would not miss any useful suggestions of yours.

 

Of course, there might be things that, apart from an obvious correction, also require a discussion on the forum.

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